VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
Regular Board Meeting
Monday, January 29, 2007
Time: 2:00 P.M.
Place: Board Room
29300 Valley Center Road
Valley Center, CA 92082
The Valley Center Municipal Water District Board of Directors’ meeting was called to order by President Broomell at 2:00 P.M.
Board members present were: Directors Broomell, Polito, Stone and Haskell. Director Aleshire was absent. Staff members present were: General Manager Arant, General Counsel Cowett, Director of Finance Jeffrey, District Engineer Grabbe, Director of Operations Hoyle, Board Secretary Stetson, Manager of Accounting Pugh and IT Specialist Rivard. Spectators present were: Mr. and Mrs. Von Normann, Mrs. Goldman, Mr. Ross and Mr. Eastman and others.
1. Public Hearing to Consider Increases in the Water Rates, Wastewater Service Rates and Pressure Sewer Maintenance Fees:
Proposed increases in the water rates, monthly water meter service charges and monthly sewer service charges had been noticed to all customers and landowners of the District for the public hearing of today, January 29, 2007, to consider the proposed increases. Manager of Accounting Pugh reviewed the proposed increases to be effective with the March 1, 2007, water bills as summarized below:
Wholesale water costs will increase $2.8 million. The District’s proposed water rate increases, including an increase for local costs to cover increases in operational expenses, are shown on the below table:
Water Rate Increases (Per Acre Foot)
Metropolitan Water Dist.
San Diego County Water
District Local Cost
Of the total proposed increases, on average, only 12.5% will be retained by the District for local costs while the wholesale water rate increases represent 88% of the domestic rate increase and 87% of the agricultural rate increase.
A 4% increase in the monthly meter service charges was proposed to offset operating cost increases. This proposal would increase the meter service charge for a ¾” meter from $19.50 to $20.50/month and an increase in the 3” meter service charge from $81.00 to $84.00 per month. The increase in the monthly meter service charges will generate an approximate additional $130,000 in revenue. No change was proposed in the fire service meters.
Increases in the Infrastructure Access Charge (IAC), a pass through of the charge assessed the District by the San Diego County Water Authority based on the number and size of active meters, were proposed. The IAC would increase from $1.48 to $1.56 per month for a 3/4” meter and from $14.22 to $14.99 per month for a 3” meter.
Proposed increases in the Lower Moosa Canyon Water Reclamation Plant’s service area’s charges, per equivalent dwelling unit (EDU), are:
Monthly Service Charge $2.00 or $40.50/EDU
STEP Maintenance Surcharge $1.50 or $33.50/EDU
Manager of Accounting Pugh reported that over 39,000 notices were mailed to property owners and District customers regarding the proposed rate increases to be considered at the public hearing. Two written protests were received representing three parcels.
The public hearing on the proposed increases in the rates and charges was opened for public comment at 2:08 p.m.
Mr. Paul Von Normann of 9474 Vista Aleta addressed the Board stating that he grows flowers and avocados and asked that the Board consider during its deliberation of the proposed rate increases that the increases in the imported water costs over the past eight years have resulted in his agricultural endeavors being unprofitable and that he will need to scale back operations and water with his well which will exclude his avocado plantings.
Ms. Melanie Goldman of 31078 Mesa Crest Road stated she owns 28 acres of avocados and has no local well water. She stated she opposes the proposed water rate increases as it will result in a deficit operation as the price of avocados have not increased. Ms. Goldman expressed that there will be a disservice to the residents of Valley Center and all consumers if avocados are no longer produced and grown in
the area. Ms. Goldman stated that the District should better serve the agricultural customers and the viability of farming in the community and not impose a rate hike for the agricultural users.
The public hearing on the proposed increases in the water rates and water and wastewater charges was closed at 2:16 p.m.
General Manager Arant stated that approximately 80% of the water delivered by the District is to its agricultural customers and the District is very cognizant of the impact of water rates on the agricultural industry. The District’s water supply is 100% imported from its wholesale suppliers, the Metropolitan Water District and the San Diego County Water Authority. Of the revenue collected by the District, approximately 12% is retained for local operating and maintenance costs with the remaining revenue disbursed to San Diego Gas & Electric and the District’s wholesale water suppliers to cover their charges. The component in the water rates for the District’s local costs also funds identified capital improvement projects such as pipeline replacements, which represent a total cost of $65 million over the next 10-15 years. The District’s water suppliers have also identified capital improvement projects (CIP), such as Metropolitan’s treatment plant upgrades, pipeline replacements and expansions to meet demands and maintain a reliable supply at a total cost of $4.5 billion. The San Diego County Water Authority’s CIP totals $3.2 billion for enhanced regional water and treatment facilities.
The Board voiced their understanding of the plight of agriculturalists in the region and empathized that, being dependent upon the imported water supply which has been increasing in price, some agriculture may no longer be able to be sustained in Valley Center. The Board noted that they had deliberated on the increased water supply and operational costs, but had concluded, though reluctantly, that costs should be passed on to the consumer as it would be a disservice to defer funding the cost increases which would jeopardize needed infrastructure upkeep throughout the District’s service area.
Upon motion by Stone, seconded by Polito and unanimously carried, the following ordinance, entitled:
ORDINANCE NO. 2007-02
ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT ADOPTING
INCREASES IN WATER AND SEWER RATES AND
CHARGES, REAFFIRMING PAST WATER AND SEWER
RATES AND CHARGES, AND AUTHORIZING THE PASS
THROUGH OF WHOLESALE WATER RATE INCREASES
was adopted by the following vote, to wit:
AYES: Directors Broomell, Polito, Stone and Haskell
ABSENT: Director Aleshire
2. Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the following consent calendar items were approved:
• Minutes of the Board meeting held January 16, 2007
• Audit demand check numbers 111866 through 112047
• Board of Director’s request for per diem compensation and reimbursement of expenses
3. Approval of Increases in Construction Water Meter Service Charge and Construction Water Permit Fees:
Staff recommended increasing the construction meter monthly water service charge from $81.00 to $84.00 which will equal the monthly service charge for a 3” meter. In addition, increases in the construction water permit fees were proposed ranging from $10.00 ($135.00 fee) for a water truck with the capacity of 2,500 gallons or less to $15.00 ($265.00 fee) for a truck with the capacity of 5,000 gallons or more.
Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Haskell and unanimously carried, the following ordinance, entitled:
ORDINANCE NO. 2007-03
ORDINANCE OF THE VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER
DISTRICT AMENDING THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE TO
PROVIDE FOR CHANGES IN CONSTRUCTION METER
SERVICE AND CONSTRUCTION WATER PERMIT FEES
4. Amendments to Administrative Code Articles 171 and 173, Sewer Service Requirements and Subsurface Sewerage Disposal Systems:
Ordinance No. 2007-04 was presented for the Board’s consideration to revise Article 171, Sewer Wastewater Service Requirements, and Article 173, Subsurface Disposal Wastewater Systems to change the word sewer to wastewater and eliminate the reference to Skyline Ranch, which was transferred to private ownership. It was noted that references to the sewer standby fee and sewer service charge for the Woods Valley Ranch were retained as this terminology is contained in the California Code for said fee and charge.
Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Stone and unanimously carried, the following ordinance, entitled:
ORDINANCE NO. 2007-04
THE VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
TO UPDATE THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE
ARTICLES 171 AND 173 TO REPLACE, WHERE
APPROPRIATE, THE WORD SEWER WITH WASTEWATER
5. Resolution Nominating Director Aleshire as a Candidate for the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority (ACWA/JPIA) Executive Committee Member:
Resolution No. 2007-03 nominating Director Merle Aleshire for ACWA/JPIA Executive Committee member was presented for the Board’s adoption. ACWA/JPIA will be conducting an election at the Spring ACWA Conference to fill the office of Vice President and two Executive Committee member positions. Director Aleshire is the District’s appointed member on the ACWA/JPIA, which is a requirement to be nominated for the position and the District participates in the ACWA/JPIA Liability, Property and Workers’ compensation programs. Currently, Director Aleshire serves on the Executive Committee and wishes to serve another three-year term. Candidates must receive concurring in nomination resolutions from five other JPIA members.
Upon motion by Stone, seconded by Haskell and unanimously carried, the following resolution, entitled:
RESOLUTION NO. 2007-03
RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
VALLEY CENTER MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT
NOMINATING ITS ACWA/JPIA BOARD MEMBER,
MERLE J. ALESHIRE, Ph.D. TO THE EXECUTIVE
COMMITTEE OF THE ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA
WATER AGENCIES JOINT POWERS INSURANCE
GENERAL MANAGER’S AGENDA
6. Effects from the Freeze:
General Manager Arant explained that in response to the recent freeze and damage to crops in the District’s service area, the potential affect on the District and appropriate steps are being evaluated; such as, certain discretionary capital improvement projects, and employee hires upon a retirement. It was clarified that the District will continue to pursue completion of its automated meter reading program which will realize long-term savings, and the SCADA program as the District’s telemetry equipment has become obsolete. Some positions that had been approved in the budget were deferred previously as a slow down in anticipated developer projects was recognized.
The freeze caused numerous leaks to customers’ backflow devices. The District assisted its customers by providing the parts needed for repairs at cost with no labor charges. Per the Health Code, backflow equipment must be accessible. In an effort to avoid the damage to backflow devices from the cold weather, a program will be initiated to remind customers to protect their open pipes.
7. A Closed Session was called by President Broomell at 2:47 p.m. pursuant to:
• Government Code §54956.9(c), Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation
Number of potential cases: 1
8. The regular Board meeting was reconvened at 2:58 p.m. No action was reported.
9. Upon motion by Polito, seconded by Haskell and unanimously carried, the meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.